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My Life at the Video Store Part 4

Drugs. They were what got me through the times when I thought I needed them the most. Self medicating at that time in my life became more important than movies. Even though I spent a massive amount of time at the movies and the video store, getting drunk, smoking weed, and doing whatever was put in front of me was somehow bringing me out of my shell. I still had that negative self image and I was getting worse but manageable because I was trying to destroy the person I was before. Don’t get me wrong, drugs didn’t fix anything and also that is not the way anybody should have to deal with life and I don’t recommend it at all but I had my fun.

At about my sophomore year in high school I felt burnt out, I mean run so far down that I had to make some decisions that I shouldn’t have. I decided to take ahold of myself and again change. I didn’t know what I wanted anymore, who I wanted to be or anything. I thought by cutting all my ties to that old world would clear me out. Movies came back into the forefront yet again and I started paying more attention than ever before.

Me and a friend spent almost every waking minute watching movies. Horror movies came back to me in a huge way, and Anime opened new doors but independent movies were dominating my eyes overtime. For the next year of my life I watched anything we could find and then went back to do it again.

Nostalgia was creeping in on me as far as what I watched as a kid all alone in that big house while my parents were gone all the time. It’s funny looking back because I remember the couch I lived on, the ramen, the 3 liter cokes with the extra liter on the top, and all the times I had to watch the video to the end because the VCR wouldn’t rewind unless it went to the end and forced the tape to rewind. I missed those days. I still do.

I have always been an extreme introvert and most everybody didn't understand that. I liked to sleep and be alone more than anything but all my friends were extroverts. It's weird to have those tendencies and always have to be around so many people. If I had to go do something new I always stressed to the point of either throwing up or having a nervous breakdown. I think in my lifetime I have had two nervous breakdowns. Both of them were when I was real young.

The first real one was at one of my birthday parties. To this day it still makes me shake to think about it. My family did not know how to deal with anything let alone a child with problems. I mean what problems could a middle class kid have? I had everything I ever wanted and my parents were great. I guess the skeletons in everybody's closets were too hard to bear on their own to be able to help someone growing up cope with theirs. Back to the birthday party. I really don't remember the year but I remember that I was so excited to have this one day for me. My birthday being in the summer didn't give me many options when I was younger and I was really excited for this one.

My parents got me a Batman cake with a Batman action figure standing in it and my extended family was all there to celebrate. We cut the cake and got all my gifts unwrapped and when everybody got their fill my mom looks at me and says, "Alright clean it all up Brock." Now those words are not that bad and it wasn't a bad thing to ask but my brain went frizzle fry and I just broke down. My mom God bless her I guess didn't really mean anything by it but for some reason on my birthday to just ask me to clean up after everybody just crushed me. Why though? I guess I was just very sensitive to the fact that it was my day but something just exploded in my head. The only way to describe it is, imagine in your head that every feeling that you ever had, every voice that you ever heard, every experience that you have ever had hits you all at once and the only thing that you can do is go into complete shutdown mode.

Thats what happens when I had my nervous breakdowns. I went to the bathroom and laid on the floor uncontrollably sobbing until I couldn't no more. I was sweating and my eyes were closed so tight that it hurt. I was in the fetal position for God knows how long and nobody said or did anything. Crickets. There was one point where my mom knocked on the door and asked if I wanted to go to K-Mart with everybody. I was broken and nobody cared. I felt abandoned and hopeless, but there was always K-Mart. I came out of the bathroom and nobody said anything to me. It was like it never happened. But it did and I was never the same again. To this day I don't think anybody has ever said anything to me about it either.

The second one came soon after. I know it was around school time but I can't remember when exactly and how old I was. I don't remember what set it off that day but I remember I was at my friends house and I had to be brought home. I remember I went to my room and this person came with me and why I was uncontrollably sobbing she was actually helping meet through it. That was until my mom came through the door. She told the other person flat out to leave. No asking what was going on nothing, just leave. That made it worse for me. All my mom said to me was "Get Up" Now notice how I have never mentioned my dad in any of these situations. Why? Because he was never there. Always working. I have always said that I didn't know my dad until my mom left us.

I honestly think that my nervous breakdowns caused some kind of mental deficiency and a huge amount of fucked up feelings to always be bottled up inside me. It made me really reliant on myself and my gut feelings. I have quit so many things I can't even keep up but what I have always been proud of is being able to become me. I have always had a thin veil and when drugs and alcohol came around I embraced it with both hands and became something I thought I wanted to be.

Getting clean didn’t change much for me but it did hit the reset button and after about a year clean and sober the demons made their way back. The video store was still my refuge and now more than ever it felt like home. Every time I went in the shelves kept getting bigger and bigger. 200 copies of any new release and always a back catalog that would make George Lucas cream in his pants.

VHS was still king and DVD was just around the corner. Around this time home videos became more affordable too. I remember when the video store was basically the size of a small house and I saw some prices on used video cassettes above 100 dollars. It was nuts to think that you might be able to buy a video for that much but slowly they started to come down. I really wanted a copy of Natural Born Killers and I asked my mom to get me a copy but the people at the blockbuster in Dallas near her take her it was going to cost well over 100 dollars to get one. This was before the purge of used VHS started happening too. One day later on I saw a copy of The Crow on video for about 20 dollars and I obsessed over getting it until my Dad finally caved and bought a copy. Now as I’m typing this I do remember getting some movies during Christmas before this like Batman, The Punisher, and Total Recall. They must have been cheap so I hope this doesn’t negate my thoughts on them being so much. But that Crow video became my favorite and I watched it all the time.

It’s always funny to remember back because I always remember my Dad would always say stuff like “Why would we ever buy movies, it’s such a waste” and then years later his VHS collection was in the 100’s it was the same with DVD and the same with Blu-Ray. Every time a new format came out he was always so reluctant to update. Rightfully so though because the money was always so much at the beginning. We never had Betamax, laserdisc or even CED. I think it cost my parents 1000 dollars for the first VCR anyway.

It took over a year for Pulp Fiction to come out on VHS and even longer for it to hit cable. When it came out I bought it sent a check for like 20 dollars and the upc’s from the Box and got a shirt. What was surprising about the whole thing is that I was sent a Switchblade Sisters poster from Tarantino’s short lived Rolling Thunder Pictures. I wish I still had it. The shirt never fit though because it was an XL and I’ve always been a 2XL.

By this time school was almost over for me and I still spent way too much time drinking and drugging. I still spent the other time I had at the video store. There were still about 5 of them throughout the city

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